Connecticut governor pauses state’s marijuana social equity fund for review

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Connecticut’s governor is halting the distribution of funds from the state’s marijuana social equity fund while the program is reviewed.

Gov. Ned Lamont called for a halt to the distribution of roughly $33.4 million in funding as well as the audit “in response to complaints from members of the state’s legislative Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and other stakeholders,” Fairfield-based public-radio station WSHU reported.

The complaints were spurred by a concern that the Social Equity Council (SEC), which distributes the funds, “hasn’t been transparent,” WHSU reported.

The Black and Puerto Rican Caucus also is questioning the SEC’s “choices for the recipients of community grants,” according to the Hartford-based CT Mirror.

Lamont requested that the state comptroller conduct “a comprehensive review of the SEC, focusing on areas such as governance practices, decision-making processes, financial management, program effectiveness, criteria used in awarding grants and contracts, stakeholder engagement and adherence to relevant statutes and regulations.”

The governor’s action came “10 days” after the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus called for the SEC to halt funding “allocated for community reinvestment,” the Mirror reported.

The agency’s executive director, Ginnie-Rae Clay, didn’t respond to the Mirror’s requests for comment.

The SEC was formed to lead social equity initiatives within Connecticut’s cannabis industry.

Meanwhile, the medical marijuana program’s board of physicians voted Friday to add two qualifying conditions for Connecticut’s MMJ patients.

According to New Haven TV station WTNH, the two new qualifying conditions apply only to patients 18 and older:

  • Autism.
  • Female orgasmic difficulty/disorder.

Connecticut now has 42 qualifying conditions for patients 18 and older and 11 in the state’s MMJ youth program, WTNH reported.

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